Author Topic: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games  (Read 3720 times)

Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2017, 09:46:28 PM »
Well, I don't know if it would be worth its actual price, but currently on humble bundle their monthly bundle has Stellaris as its early game, and so you can get it now and 5 more games later for only $12, so it may be worth getting.

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2017, 12:41:34 AM »
So given that I tried the early access, I'll give my impressions of DoW3.

First that I should say that I'm a HUGE Warhammer Universe fan. Imo the Warhammer Universe is the most dynamic and imaginative lore universe in existence. It's the only Universe which seamlessly manages to blend both fantasy and futuristic themes together, where otherwise I would have assumed it was impossible to do so.

I've played 233 hours of Warhammer Vermintide. I've played 91 hours of Total Warhammer. I've played 50 hours of Dawn of War 2.

But most impressively, I've played a whopping 614 hours of Company of Heroes 2. I've probably played another 400+ hours of the first game on multiple Steam accounts.

So you can say that I'm both a huge fan of the Warhammer Universe, and of Relic Games in general. There are vast, vast numbers of similarities between the DoW and Company of Heroes series (made by the same developers). I love the Company of Heroes/Dawn of War formula, and I've loved every iteration of it, as they all had their own strengths and weaknesses.

So as you can imagine, I was pretty damn excited about Dawn of War 3 (in fact I made a forum post about it probably 8 months ago).

Well, like the OP, I participated in the open beta.

I wasn't necessarily disappointed, I just wasn't that impressed either. DoW3 didn't really add much to the formula that was already there. It didn't seem to be much of an upgrade to the 2nd game. I liked that they attempted to make it distinct from CoH2 by removing the retreat mechanic, and by changing the cover mechanic to be based on these giant forcefields, but in the end these changes didn't prove to be relevant or interesting enough for me to consider it its own game.

In other words, as much as I love the DoW/CoH series, and as much as I expected DoW 3 to be its own unique and interesting innovation to the franchise/series, it simply wasn't. It seemed like Dawn of War 2.5 perhaps, though perhaps worse than DoW 2 in many ways simply because it had only 3 races.

Don't get me wrong, the multiplayer had a lot of depth, and certainly required skill to play, but it seemed like a very micromanagement-heavy mechanical skill, of the sort that the average person would have no interest in improving. And in that way, it had very little difference from the previous games.

Basically, I couldn't recommend this game at its current price point to anybody. In any case the top rated Steam reviews can say what I've been trying to say much better than I have. If you're wondering about the game just read a few of those.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2017, 01:27:28 AM »
I grew up on Space Empires, so there are some aspects of ship design that I really like. But yeah, the turn based combat got old, fast. At least the auto-resolve AI wasn't completely dumb.

It would be able to figure out is own optional firing range and not approach closer than that (although it wouldn't retreat unless critically injured).

There are however huge issues with controlled combat:
- it's a 4X game. You're NOT supposed to be fighting equal sides and equal fights. You're supposed to be outmaneuvering your opponent / countering what they built / "diplomating" them into submission / outproducing them. By definition 4X games will not produce equal fights which could be fun to play. If played well all fights in a 4X are won before the combat started. Therefore manually controlling the fights means either : enabling the player to win battles that the player had no point winning in the first place, or forcing the player to play "won" battle not to take unnecessary losses.
- AI is complex to make. It requires the game maker to make a competent AI specific to the fight in addition to and AI competent at empire management. Let me be honest here, it has ALWAYS been an utter failure. No matter the game I tried, with controlled combat, it's always possible for the player to win outnumbered, outresearched, outmaneuvered... because the AI's dumb.

Simply put, 4X are not wargames and will not produce equal fights ever. If I wanted a balance war game, I'd be playing starcraft. And unequal fights are either boring (you >> them) or a balance issue (if possible to win if them >> you).

That's why I think that endless space / stellaris combat is superior by magnitudes of orders to MoO2 and similar games. Because it's what 4X combat is supposed to be. And it will continue to improve. However, controlled combat as MoO2 provided will always fall on both flaws explained above and always by, sorry, but for lack of another word, be a huge shitty micromanagement / balance issue.

On a side not, I think that the Dominions series did that in the best "automated" combat I've ever seen, even if it would be rather easy to improve on it.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2017, 07:00:13 AM »
Quote
Simply put, 4X are not wargames and will not produce equal fights ever. If I wanted a balance war game, I'd be playing starcraft. And unequal fights are either boring (you >> them) or a balance issue (if possible to win if them >> you).

That's why I think that endless space / stellaris combat is superior by magnitudes of orders to MoO2 and similar games. Because it's what 4X combat is supposed to be. And it will continue to improve. However, controlled combat as MoO2 provided will always fall on both flaws explained above and always by, sorry, but for lack of another word, be a huge shitty micromanagement / balance issue.
This. Very much. However, Stellaris doesn't allow for much of that, as it's very much rock/paper/scissors now rather than actual strategic thinking prior to the battle.

However, since there is now a separate Stellaris thread, I suggest we leave the Stellaris discussion there and focus on DoW3 here instead.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2017, 08:51:28 AM »
There are however huge issues with controlled combat:
- it's a 4X game. You're NOT supposed to be fighting equal sides and equal fights. You're supposed to be outmaneuvering your opponent / countering what they built / "diplomating" them into submission / outproducing them. By definition 4X games will not produce equal fights which could be fun to play. If played well all fights in a 4X are won before the combat started. Therefore manually controlling the fights means either : enabling the player to win battles that the player had no point winning in the first place, or forcing the player to play "won" battle not to take unnecessary losses.

Let me be blunt:
If you're going to allow me to even watch the fight, it should damn well be interesting. If you're going to give me control, it better mean something. Hybrid RTS-4X games exist (Cough, cough, Sins of a Solar Empire) that do this well.

But if you're not going to give me either then make the rest of the game interesting. Diplomacy is boring as duck. Do not make me play Diplomacy.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2017, 08:57:43 AM »
It looks far more interesting than EU4 combat, thats for sure.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2017, 12:29:00 PM »
Let me be blunt:
If you're going to allow me to even watch the fight, it should damn well be interesting. If you're going to give me control, it better mean something. Hybrid RTS-4X games exist (Cough, cough, Sins of a Solar Empire) that do this well.

Sins ain't a 4X... It's a RTS with a bit of economy management and a next to useless diplomacy menu. At core, sins is very similar to warcraft 3, just... it has bigger maps. If sins is a 4X game then warcraft 3 is. :-\

About diplomacy, well, if you don't like it I'm wondering why you're looking at Stellaris or Paradox games in the first place.

I'm agreeing with your other points though. Hence the Dominions series example. In that game you don't have control - you just set-up orders to squads and commanders. Yet, you will want to look at most fights. That's probably where 4X combat will end up, IMO.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2017, 02:00:02 PM »
Sins is a rts ;)

When he mentioned diplomacy I think you misunderstood him ;) Stellaris has very little real diplomacy, there is a point modifier going up or down depending on rivalry (+ or -), threats (+ or -), border fraction (-), treaties (+) and trust. Your political and racial affiliations are also a factor. Diplomacy in Stellaris isn't diplomacy at all, it's a "like or dislike" meter with very little actual changeable values, since 70% of that above value is gonna be based on your government form, ethics and whether you border with 1 or 30 systems (-10 per system bordering).

Diplomacy could be more in-depth, with ministerial staff, ambassadors, in-depth embassy management and behavior/response situations etc. cultural exchange as well.

Imo, if your diplomacy is based on a "like" meter you should not have that as a feature in your game at all... because it adds nothing to the actual game and creates situations that are unresolvable. There are races you never gonna have higher than 0 in like rating and so you can never actually add them into a federation for example, when 2 races in federation highly dislike each other you are basically *forced* into a war. The current implementation is imo clearly to enforce more wars.

Stellaris also got the Banks update today, 1.6.0, which was supposed to be a major change, I am not seeing it to be honest... QoL things are still largely MIA (still no way to build ships on sector planets without manually going in and clicking on each of them) and from what I seen in an unmodded test (I think unmodded anyway... not 100% sure as I had a lot of custom stuff probably even in the game folder... ,p) and they beefed up the end-game threats to make doomstacks even more relevant. Btw, they also buffed military stations, which is a huge "WHAT????" imo, as it makes doomstacks even more important now... I played with mods that made stations have 30k firepower... so I know what I am talking about, this change does NOT fix anything. It makes wars just incredibly grindy, even more than usual actually, because every magnet is gonna require a doomstack to break without losses. And due to the missing QoL and scale things you can still not rebuild a huge lost fleet easily

By the way, to me one of the dream combat systems is still a mix of Moo 3 and Space Empires (Yes, really) ;p Basically very hands-on during design, but 100% hands-off (and real-time) during combat. Combat hugely based on your orders you put down in the design, including retreat orders etc. And your ship catalog remains yours, linked to your in-game persona or whatever. So you never have design anything twice. And optimally you also want a bit more streamlined orders builder, with pre-made templates and easy to see variables that you can change if you really want, but that are based on your "longest" weapon range or a specific hit% vs evasion%

################


All this said, I want to point out that I instantly put Endless Space 2 on my radar again when I learned that you start in a pocket that is connected by warp-lanes, but outside pockets you can only access with higher warp tech and the jumps there are how the game handles exploration and maybe even other game systems?. Now if it were really clever, they could even make it so that a colony in a pocket is not necessarily "your" empire but rather only "somewhat" yours... mhh, it's probably gonna be another mainstream rts/4x thingy though, with big focus on combat...


################

Btw, regarding Dawn of War 3, to me one of the biggest "MEH" things of all of them is that the campaign is a disconnected disjointed tutorial romp with very little actual value to it. I play RTS games mainly in SP, so to me one of the biggest no-sale points was that the campaign was neither like DoW 1 (Expansions, RISK with Wargear unlocks carrying over into each battle) nor like DoW 2 (loot/skill based).. so to me, DoW 3 is doing things I hate in both regards. And secondly, I think Dawn of War 3 gets grimdark Warhammer 40k style totally wrong. It's too stylized, too clean. Visually I think this is one of the worst things to say about it. All I got from playing DoW 3 openbeta was that I installed DoW 1 and DoW 2 again and actually played those... finding that DoW 1 DC and SS are still great fun, and that the retreat mechanic added in DoW 2 is so vital that I don't want to miss it in a RTS ever again. (in DoW 1 there are a lot of problems with pathfinding though..)

And yeah, it's still not above 200k owners, for a AAA game this is incredibly bad.. I just hope this doesn't mean that the IP is dead as a whole.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 02:14:44 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2017, 03:47:28 PM »
Sins is a rts ;)

And noted on Wikipedia as being a hybrid. It also isn't the only title that qualified as an RT4X.

Quote
When he mentioned diplomacy I think you misunderstood him ;) Stellaris has very little real diplomacy...

Bored now.


If you're going to abstract everything down that far, I'm going to go play After the Empire instead. It has all of like 10 levers you can pull in the entire game and is STILL a better 4X than the first Endless Space. Mind, I haven't figured out how to lose on a difficulty below Hard, and Hard involves two or three of the levers I don't particularly understand, so I get my butt kicked.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2017, 04:42:56 PM »
And noted on Wikipedia as being a hybrid. It also isn't the only title that qualified as an RT4X.

1) Wikipedia as a source ::)

2) 
Quote
Sins of a Solar Empire is a 2008 science fiction real-time strategy computer game developed by Ironclad Games and published by Stardock Entertainment for Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is a real-time strategy (RTS) game that incorporates some elements from 4X strategy games; its makers describe it as "RT4X."[2][3] In the game, players are given control of a spacefaring empire in the distant future, and are tasked with conquering star systems using military, economic and diplomatic means.

Ok. Wikipedia does not describe it as a 4X. Sins's dev once did.

I'm failing to find what your point is here. It's like stating that Heroes of the Storm ain't a MOBA. Because Blizzard described it as "not a MOBA". Even if it differs little from other MOBAs. Actually, they recently changed directors and backtracked... now Blizzard calls HotS a MOBA.

3) The title of those pages:

https://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/
https://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/

Real-Time strategy.
Even the devs of this game don't refer to it as a 4X anymore on their main site page.

4) I think I made my point.


@eRe4s3r :
About diplomacy & stellaris, I'm not satisfied either by what Stellaris proposes which is too easily exploitable. A lot of the game is not there yet and micro's not perfect. District management is... well. Still, my point was that from what he said, I'm pretty sure that what Draco18s's looking for ain't going to ever be in a paradox game. Sorry if I misphrased that.


About sliders, all video games are based on filling & depleting sliders. Hit points, money, tax level, "like" sliders, anything can in a video game can be abstracted to filling a box or moving a slider. Therefore I'm not sure what your point is. I don't really see how it's possible to remove those as long as computers ain't sentient, but why not.


Same, I don't understand your point about doomstacks. While some wars were won on the skills of their commanders, most were won on number or superior technologies - and while the commander's skill in history varied, a player's skill will rarely diminish. And making victories random... naah that doesn't make a good game. IMO, they are basically right to make doomstacks rock / paper / scissors the dominant war strategy in 4X games.



Quote
By the way, to me one of the dream combat systems is still a mix of Moo 3 and Space Empires (Yes, really) ;p Basically very hands-on during design, but 100% hands-off (and real-time) during combat. Combat hugely based on your orders you put down in the design, including retreat orders etc. And your ship catalog remains yours, linked to your in-game persona or whatever. So you never have design anything twice. And optimally you also want a bit more streamlined orders builder, with pre-made templates and easy to see variables that you can change if you really want, but that are based on your "longest" weapon range or a specific hit% vs evasion%

That's more or less what the Dominions series proposes. In favor of that.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 05:41:49 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2017, 04:53:11 PM »

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2017, 05:49:27 PM »
Your link actually says what I said. I'm going to stop here :-X. It's sterile. ::)

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2017, 07:59:09 PM »
RTS games have this huge problem where people can't hide behind their ego. In games like LOL, if you lose, it's easy to blame everyone else. In an RTS, a lot of people take losses very personally.

Overall, I liked playing the game, but I got wind about concerns with the single player. If I'm going to jump into a game at this price, it's got to have modding, custom games, and a decent campaign(s). Also, because it's Warhammer, you can expect DLC every month at outrageous prices, and I just couldn't see myself being on the hook for that just to keep up with the community. I can afford it, but in the end, it was a financial decision, and not because I didn't enjoy the beta.

Don't worry, Warhammer games are one of the most sold IPs in gaming. It will be around for some time, even if the RTS needs to take a break. But I think that what's really going to happen is we see a price cut.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2017, 10:08:17 PM »
@eRe4s3r :
About diplomacy & stellaris, I'm not satisfied either by what Stellaris proposes which is too easily exploitable. A lot of the game is not there yet and micro's not perfect. District management is... well. Still, my point was that from what he said, I'm pretty sure that what Draco18s's looking for ain't going to ever be in a paradox game. Sorry if I misphrased that.

About sliders, all video games are based on filling & depleting sliders. Hit points, money, tax level, "like" sliders, anything can in a video game can be abstracted to filling a box or moving a slider. Therefore I'm not sure what your point is. I don't really see how it's possible to remove those as long as computers ain't sentient, but why not.

Nah, the problem isn't a good/evil slider or weighting or numbers filling up behind the scenes, the problem is when you give the player nothing to dynamically influence those. When I meet an alien species I should be able to set a first-contact behavior and the game should build a sort-of-randomized-but-hand-written story from that, that develops based on A <-> B communications. Each race is unique and no such behavior/reaction pattern should repeat in a game, could play out like an RPG, or maybe like a artistic interpretation of a chat-bot.. what do I know, something new! To me it makes little sense that every space empire (including hive-minds, that one made me cringe) have a society ethos for example, especially because the Stellaris one is based on current social ethics. Actually thinking about it, even MOO 1 had more interesting aliens. Cat/pride dominant/huntress based society for example wouldn't even be able to be portrayed in Stellaris technical terminology. And I think you could implement basic emergent functionality into diplomatic interactions, like the events in EU4.. just a bit more alien.. and template based/hand written/randomized.

Same, I don't understand your point about doomstacks. While some wars were won on the skills of their commanders, most were won on number or superior technologies - and while the commander's skill in history varied, a player's skill will rarely diminish. And making victories random... naah that doesn't make a good game. IMO, they are basically right to make doomstacks rock / paper / scissors the dominant war strategy in 4X games.

But that's just it, in a good 4x combat isn't random, it's emergent and based on player decisions made before that combat happens. And If a good fleet admiral gets back from conquering 500 worlds in my name, and he just lives on as a statistic in my empire, then that makes me cringe. 0 emergent behaviors to be found in that. It's what makes 4x games boring, as nothing is unique, nothing unique is happening after 200 years or 400 turns or whatever metric you wanna use. This is completely different from other Paradox games as well.. so I am actually confused why they don't focus more on such emergent characters, re-implement family trees, think about alien family trees (bio-engineered offspring basically, since it's usually scientific fact that 2 different species can't really mate) and stuff like that... I don't want more things to click on, mind you. I just want more stuff happening in the game that has ANY kind of effect on my empire.

In Stellaris, the best tactic is to have 1 fleet because 1 fleet with your best admiral is always superior to anything else in the galaxy. That may even be realistic, but the problem is that it's zero fun to do that 9 out of 9 times. Because a superior and obvious tactic is a tactic that you'd be pretty crazy not to use. And the bigger problem is that the AI forces me to use it, because it will happily avoid your doomstack whenever it can..... losing planets left and right in the process......

I actually also hugely dislike that in Stellaris all races are functionality and design wise the same. A hive mind devouring swarm builds mineral fabricators and capitals, metal colony ships and has pops working a food building (remember -> a devouring swarm, and it works.. a food building????) because..... yeah. A devouring swarm is a biological mega-organism on the hunt for biomass, it doesn't grow food. It doesn't build buildings, it grows organs on planets. It's all those little things "missing" that add up to a feeling of sterility and lack of immersion in Stellaris imo. Different races should *play* differently and maybe even be completely asymmetrically...

You know, to me one of the biggest problems of Stellaris is that while races all are very modular and have great ranges, in the end all you really have is differently painted dolls, they all got the same base body underneath, the same gameplay, the same graphics on planets, the same mechanics even. Society and ethics only RESTRICT your options, they don't give you new ones.... it's.. a weird form of science fiction alien design.. and I don't like it.

Btw, Warhammer may be alive and well, but Warhammer 40k got a lot of lackluster releases recently... and Dawn of War 3 only having 200k owners (which likely means even less full price sales) on steam means the next games (and the expansions) won't have big funding and big teams behind them. And that is usually not a good thing. ;/
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 10:12:00 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2017, 11:51:53 PM »
So far as I've found in reviews, DoW3's seem to sum up as 'If you liked the previous games this one ain't good.'